The internet has been abuzz since it was announced that Beauty and the Beast will feature Disney’s first openly LBGTQ character on-screen.
Josh Gad will be starring as LeFou -- and from our screening -- will be depicted as a man who is clearly attracted to Gaston even if he can’t fully express that throughout the story. While the re-imagined version of the “Gaston” song appears to feature LeFou openly pining for Gaston, famed composer Alan Menken disagrees with that interpretation of the scene.
At a recent junket in Los Angeles, Menken said that while it has been made public that the character is gay, he doesn’t agree with how it has been described by many.
“You know, I don’t see him pining,” Menken told ComicBook.com. “To me, he has always been look(ing) up to Gaston, in a nerdy kind of way.
“I know there’s been this whole discussion, which is to me, absolutely absurd. It’s just nuts. As far as I can tell, some journalist in England decided to make it his cause célèbre to push this agenda. And it’s really not really part of the movie in any overt way at all...any more than it was in the original. To me, it’s an utter non-issue. And I’d appreciate people realizing that it’s a non-issue because it’s just silly. But that’s journalism, and I understand.”
With all due respect to Menken, LeFou’s sexuality does seem to be overt in this film and his complex feelings for Gaston are also mentioned in dialogue later in the movie.
[MORE B&TB: Movie is rated adult-only in Russia]
Director Bill Condon has previously said that “Josh [Gad] makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that's what has its payoff at the end, which I don't want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie."
Having seen the film this past weekend, we can confirm that the moment is there -- and it’s not the only “gay moment” in the film.
Another in disagreement with Menken is the actor himself.
In an interview with People (via Variety), Gad talks of the moment in question, saying the "gay moment" is "subtle but incredibly effective" and "everything that needed to be said on this issue has definitely been said".
He added, “There is so much fear out there of that which we don’t understand, that which we don’t know. The "film is one of inclusiveness" and noted that the core theme is “never to judge a book by its cover."
Beauty and the Beast has remained consistent in ComicBook.com's anticipation rankings, with score a 3.30-of-5 at the moment.
Beauty and the Beast is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within.
Beauty and the Beast stars Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Oscar winner Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belles eccentric, but lovable father; Josh Gad as Lefou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Golden Globe nominee Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, the candelabra; Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald as Madame Garderobe, the wardrobe; Oscar nominee Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and two-time Academy Award winner Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts
Beauty and the Beast will be released in U.S. theaters on March 17, 2017.
-- Blair Marnell is a freelance author for ComicBook.com. Follow him on Twitter for more of his insights.
MORE Beauty and the Beast: